Archive for October, 2014

Copyright Basics for eLearning (and MOOC) developers

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Here is a good overview from the University of Sydney.  It covers internal usage which is largely covered by Part V B of the Australian copyright act.

Monash people can head for the copyright intranet site

As soon as you get into publicly available, free and commercial courses (and MOOCs) the VB security blanket no longer applies.

Basically you have to make everything yourself, find creative commons resources (and attribute them appropriately), or go through the lengthy and sometimes costly process of getting permission for everything you want to use.

How do MOOCs and Copyright work

Here’s a quick dos and don’ts list from the University of WA

Here is a bit about the University of Melbourne MOOC copyright experince

This is a British site so some of the nuances may vary from the Australian situation, but JISC produce good reliable stuff so it’s worth a look.

Beginners guide to eLearning (read this before staring your MOOC)

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

If you have any interest in developing eLearning courses or MOOCs go to this site first.  The only area it doesn’t address as well as I’d like is copyright, which is the big surprise for many first time elearning course developers.

Practical Guide to eLearning

Australian National VET eLearning Strategy  site

(As a side note this is another valuable social resource our current Government has cut funding to).

Weekend Funny – What To Do When You See An Internet Thing You Disagree With

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

A little interactive game to make your life better.

internet dont like

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Gautama Buddha

Weekend Funny – Internet Trolls Halloween Muscical

Saturday, October 25th, 2014


YouTube as an editor

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

I have been having a play with You Tube and I think I’ll start recommending it as an option for students and staff wanting to create basic videos.  It has a range production functions –  text and url annotations, captions, subtitles, image enhancers and audio clips.

Video editor

It also has an additional video editor.  This allows you to trim videos, combine clips, add images, add titles and insert transitions.

Obviously you have to be online to use it, but as a basic free option that all staff and students can access it’s worth suggesting.

And there are lot of resources about to support it.

How to Use Youtube Video Editor 2014

We have a Google+ Community – Monash Making Videos for Learning which you can join if you’re interested.

Privacy one stop shop

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

If you are interested online privacy is worth a look.

You can see your public page on Facebook and Google+.  It provides direct links to the privacy sections of your social media sites which are often tucked away.  Unfortunately it doesn’t provide any guidance on the settings.

I think the privacy tools section is the most interesting.

Adjust Your Privacy

If you use you frequently use your computer for online shopping and on public WiFi hot spots it’s probably worth tightening up you system a bit (and having a good anti malware program).

A bit about trolling

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

There is a fairly high profile trolling issue going about at the moment.

Why the trolls will always win

Tech trail blazer, Kathy Sierra coined the term “Koolaid Point” when describing the escalation of trolling behavior.  She later unfortunately found herself the target of a troll, who orchestrated a nasty and long term campaign against her.  She is a brave person and the article is worth a read.

Here is a video from PBS in the US about the “why’s” of trolling.

“Don’t Read The Comments: The Psychology of Online Trolls”


Author and Journalist John Scalzi is a uniquely thick skinned person when it comes to trolls.  He is one of those people we can watch and applaud, knowing there is no way on god’s green earth that we could emulate him.   His “Site disclaimer and comment policy” has achieved fairly wide spread notoriety.

He has also adopted Jenny Lawson’s ( the bloggess ) policy of “kittening” some trolls, which involves re-writing and subverting their comments.  Scalzi provides this example


My Edit: I love hearts and flowers and pretty bows! I could dance in sparkly showers all the day long! Fa la la la la la!


My edit: When I think about all the kittens in the world that need to be cuddled, I just break down into wee little sobs.

His response to one cartload of trolls was create a fundraiser for LGBT victims of assault.

His response to challenges to his “masculinity” and his non alpha male ways he created Gamma Rabbit.

…for those of us who are comfortable with diversity, who try not to be racist, or sexist, or homophobic, who don’t see the world as an apocalyptic zero-sum battle to the death between ourselves and whomever we try to hide our confused fear of by considering them as lesser beings, who aren’t in fact appallingly ignorant bigoted shitballs every single waking hour of the day, may I present to you an avatar — an icon, if you will, of who we are and how we choose to live our lives:

Animations showing how complex things work

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Sewing Machine

One thing I constantly say to academics is always look for the best bang for your buck.  Identify the topic/concept that causes the most grief.  Is it worth putting some upfront time into designing a problem based activity, or scenario, or video e.t.c. that helps clarify that issue.

These animations are examples of what I’m talking about.  They obviously took a lot of time to put together, but they clearly show how these mechanisms work.  Students are less likely to get left behind due to not grasping the foundation concepts.

Because these types of resources can be reused, you end up saving time in the long run (but not in the short term).  The other option is to hunt around and find existing free resources.  If you are a Monash person drop me a line and I’ll suggest some places to start.

Ello. The new Facebook challenger.

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

As I have said in the past I’m not a particular fan of the way Facebook goes about it’s business in regard to privacy.  They have got better, but you still have to make sure that Facebooks idea of what you want to share is the same as yours.

Please check your privacy settings and adjust them accordingly. (go and do that now, I’ll wait).

I was a bit of a fan of alternatives like Diaspora and Google+ , but neither have really taken hold (although I like the G+ communities).  There are also a number of smaller, more private networks around.


The latest network gaining some buzz is Ello, which claims it won’t track your data and is Ad-free.  At present it’s still invite only.

It seems to have gained a toe-hold in the LGBT community (mainly around the ability to have accounts in both your real name and your ‘alternate’ name).  It’s still in it’s infancy and needs work, for example, it doesn’t have any blocking function to stop online bullies (a fairly big one).

Also, it promotes itself as “porn friendly”, so,  not one for your education provider to get behind.

For now, this one to watch, not get involved with.  It needs to tick off a lot more items on its ‘Upcoming Features’ list before I’d go near it.

Here’s a bit more info from TechCrunch.